Edinburgh College continues to inspire the next generation of care workers

A group of Midlothian school pupils have gained insight into the world of care having been given the chance to complete real work experience looking after younger children with Edinburgh College.

Forty P6 pupils from Wallyford Primary School have completed the College’s Careers in Care programme which sees them learn about the skills required to work in the care sector and have gained valuable work experience, several years before they usually would.

Careers in Care was designed to give P6 pupils an insight into the wide variety of roles available in the care sector, encourage them to develop the skills needed to fulfil the roles and give them real-life experience of working in a professional care environment.

As part of the course, pupils attended College one day a week and were given an opportunity to use the skills they had learned during a one-day work placement at a local nursery and care home at the end of the course.

During their work placement, the pupils observed nursery and care home workers helping them to deliver care to children.

More than that, the pupils also experienced what it’s like to be a college student, learn about the qualifications needed to get into the care sector and to develop skills that will provide a solid base for whichever career path they choose to follow.

To celebrate completing the course, the pupils took part in a mini graduation ceremony where they presented posters depicting their work over the six-week course. They also received a certificate from depute headteacher Lindsey Barley.

The course, delivered by Edinburgh College lecturer Clarissa Cheong, focused on introducing the pupils to the possibility of a career in care at an early stage. It was developed in response to the Scottish Government Blueprint for 2020: The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland, which will see a rapid national expansion in the childcare sector to meet increased demand.

Lecturer Clarissa Cheong said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the pupils from Wallyford Primary School, they have been a credit to themselves and their school. Throughout the course they showed a real interest in learning about the different roles within care and what a person needs to be successful in the sector. It was also brilliant to see them put the skills they had learnt in the classroom into practice on their mini work placements. Hopefully we’ve encouraged some of them to think about a career in what is an extremely rewarding industry.”

Wallyford Primary School depute headteacher Lindsey Barley said: “The Careers in Care programme delivered by Edinburgh College has been fantastic for our pupils, it has provided our P6s’ with an invaluable real-life experience. Not only did the course give our pupils an insight into the care sector, it also helped them to develop many other key skills which will support their future development and ultimately better equip them for life outside of primary school.”